CoachSpeak: Scouting T.J. Taylor

CoachSpeak: Scouting T.J. Taylor

Former South Brunswick (Monmouth Junction, N.J.) head coach Rick Mantz was with Rutgers commit T.J. Taylor for his first three seasons of high-school ball. With Taylor making his verbal pledge this morning, ScarletReport.com spoke with Mantz about the athlete and person that the Scarlet Knights are getting in Taylor.

South Brunswick (Monmouth Junction, N.J.) is continuing to become a fertile recruiting ground for Rutgers and, in the eyes of former coach Rick Mantz, they all have something in common – character.

The game film speaks for itself, but the personality of players like Rutgers commit T.J. Taylor sets them apart.

"I think this is a great win for both," Mantz said. "I think that Rutgers is obviously very excited to get T.J. He's not just a football player. He's a big, strong, athletic kid, but a tremendous young man. He's an awesome student, really polite, respectful, the whole package. You don't have to worry about him going to class. He's in that same mold as Mohamed Sanu and Jevon Tyree. He's a great kid."

Taylor was always on the Rutgers radar, but started receiving heavy interest this spring after bulking up to 185 pounds. According to Mantz, Taylor still has a lot of growing to do and will fit in well with the Scarlet Knights.

"The [schools] that have come through this spring, eye-balled him in the hallway and everybody noticed big broad shoulders, huge frame," Mantz said. "He's 6-foot-3. He's always been a multi-sport kid. He plays football, basketball and track. He finally decided this spring not to run truck just to eat and lift and work out. Now he's starting to fill out and he's got great arms and a chest. You're realizing that he's a big, strong, athletic kid who's going to be bigger. With his athleticism, his attitude and unselfishness, he's going to be a heck of a football player for them."

Taylor did not have a major statistical impact for South Brunswick last season, but is expected to be a star on both sides of the field as a senior, replacing Tyree, who is headed to Rutgers to play cornerback.

Mantz resigned as South Brunswick coach this spring, but remains close with Taylor ad his other former players.

"He has a huge side athletically and he can do so many things," Mantz said. "A lot of folks look at him as a wide receiver. Rutgers is recruiting him as a safety and outside linebacker and I know he can him them there."

Between Sanu, Tyree and Taylor, Mantz and South Brunswick now have three players headed to Rutgers in a five-year span.

"As a coach, I know Kyle Flood and the guys at Rutgers are going to take care of him," Mantz said. "He's going to get a great education. His parents fell in love with Rutgers as a school, beyond just a football program. Right now, it's a very exciting time for these kids. They can go to Rutgers, obviously get a great education. They can stay close to home, but yet they can do the things that are important to them like getting to the NFL, winning bowl games, being on national television. Right now a kid can get anything by going to Rutgers, whereas years ago, they had to make a choice."

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